Barfoot reports busiest May in seven years, record price

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Auckland house prices rose to a new high of $582,285 in May as sales hit their highest level since 2005, according to Barfoot & Thompson.

By Benn Bathgate

“The market showed no sign of the slowdown that normally occurs as we approach winter,” said managing director Peter Thompson.

He said a monthly sales tally of 1165 was the highest in any May since 2005. It was 31 per cent higher than May 2011 and 55.3 per cent up on last month.

Thompson cited a significant number of new listings, a drop in mortgage interest rates, good weather and a large pool of potential buyers for the elevated level of activity.

“In the month we listed 1421 properties, up 12.2 per cent on those for April 2012 and up 21.6 per cent on those for May last year,” he said. “It was our highest number of new listings in a May for five years.”

Despite the number of new listings, Thompson said it was insufficient to meet buyer demand.

He said at the end of May Barfoot & Thompson had 4356 houses on its books, which was the lowest number in five years.

Thompson said the company ended the month with 256 fewer homes on its books than at the start, and that the low rate of construction coupled with Auckland’s population growth was creating a shortage of supply which was driving up prices.

“An average price of $582,000 is the highest average price we have ever recorded. For 2011, the average price achieved was $543,000 and this May’s average price is 7.2 per cent above that.”

He said the company sold 91 homes valued in excess of $1 million in May, and just over half of all properties sold were valued at less than $500,000. “This shortage of available housing is being felt right across Auckland, and in all price ranges.”

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